Can I emancipate a child who refuses to see me?

Attorney Jason HopperQuestion:

I have been estranged from my children for over 10 years. Both children continue to repudiate me and are the victims of parental alienation. My ex-wife is seeking more support to help with their college expenses.

I have done exhaustive research on case law and from what I have read, my support and financial obligation to the children should stop immediately because they have repudiated me. Do I have a case?



I will preface my answer with the fact that while I am licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana, this response does not constitute an attorney client relationship and is being made only on the information you have supplied to me.  For a better analysis of your legal issues, I would encourage you to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

You have asked what your options are regarding seeking emancipation of your children due to repudiation. You certainly are on the right track regarding the legal arguments you are seeking.

If faced with a judge who you do not believe is giving you a fair shake, one option is to file a new petition for findings of emancipation, request a hearing, and prior to that hearing request that the court issue findings of fact and conclusions thereon pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 52.

By making this request that you are entitled to under Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, you are requiring the trial judge to not just make a “motion denied” order, but rather, state specifically what he or she is ruling and the facts he or she used to make that ruling.  By doing this, you will have a record of what and why the judge ruled the way he or she did.  If the Court issues a ruling, contrary to Indiana law, you may seek review from the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Your best recourse would be to seek out immediate legal assistance from an attorney who focuses on domestic litigation such as the attorneys at Cordell & Cordell.


Jason P. Hopper is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis, Indiana, office of Cordell & Cordell where his primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Mr. Hopper is licensed in the state of Indiana – All State and Appellate courts, US District Court Northern District Indiana, US District Court Southern District Indiana, US Bankruptcy Court Southern District Indiana.

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